Why am I writing this blog series?

I have always been fascinated by the sociology and psychology of recruitment. Everything from the words we use in job adverts, to the way you interview candidates – are all connected and leave tiny little impacts in the mindset of the candidate/hiring managers and businesses.

One word said in an interview – can blow a hole in hiring the best candidate ever, and vice versa, a candidate can lose out on a brilliant job because the job adverts just didn’t sell itself or the interview went wrong. Shame.

In some sectors it doesn’t matter, you’ll get 100s of applications with just a job title. But as the role becomes more experienced, and skilled – the methodology of how you find people, attract and retain also does.

Why should anything I say in this blog series concern you?

Depending on where you are on the scale, Recruiter, a hiring manager, business owner HR/Internal recruiter to Candidate, general observer, or someone who spends their spare time reading blogs about recruitment – Over the coming weeks I am going to try and talk about things people don’t talk about, don’t tell you about the recruitment process, why AND how, everything is connected, from psychology of interviews to the way a team is being managed, I want to make the unconscious, conscious. Coupled with a how you “could” solve it.

Most things in this series will not resonate with you, but one day or in the past, it may have/will.

Come with me to the in-depth recruitment series. Get a coffee, your reading glasses, and sit back and let me give you perspective…

Why Peter is right?

Hang on who is Peter, Mark? Why does he think he is right? What is going on here?

Dr Laurence J. Peter, Sociologist – died in 1990, wrote a book called “The Peter Principle” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_J._Peter

I am going to go into a tiny bit in this blog – but connect it to the world of recruitment today for businesses because it’s extremely important – Connect it to my previous blog in this series “The Recruitment Loop”, where I help you identify if your company is stuck in a loop of recruitment.

The Peter Principle.

“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.”

It’s a big statement – and has a lot of information behind it – I will bring it down to my level of understanding.

It’s when employees are promoted based on their achievements in prior roles, eventually reaching a point where their competence is no longer applicable, as expertise in one role may not readily transfer to another.

I am 99% sure – everyone reading this can give an example of a bad manager – and it comes down to competence in the role – if you go back further in their history – they were a great employee, hitting targets, doing the job always on time, principled, focused…

But why do they become bad managers? And do they know they are?

“They have reached the point where their competence is no longer applicable – and they cannot transfer that expertise to that new role”.

And that is it in a nutshell. That one sentence, and why a bad manager causes a lot of damage to a business, especially in retention and recruitment.

As I said last week in the last blog post. Retention and recruitment are directly linked and mirror each other both consciously and unconsciously.

In that process – a bad manager or an incompetent manager directly impacts the entire process – because of the infinite loop their recruitment and retention end up in – is 100% down to the fact they are not competent in that role.

Let me go back 2 steps first.

The tendency in most businesses is to promote people who have shown competence in a role. Let’s take sales – a person that hits the target and achieves that target, the progression for them trends toward management – because that is what their manager has done before, and their manager before that. Right?

We reward competence in the current role, with a new role of management or more responsibility. There is nothing wrong with that in principle.

Now you might not always see it in the first, or second stage of management – the person carries on up the pole, till they have reached their level of incompetence. Then you start to see it. Sometimes it’s too late.

THEN you see Retention and Recruitment start getting affected.

And here’s how. As I said in the Retention and Recruitment blog, the words used in the adverts reflect the culture of the business.

If they want “people to hit the ground, running” is it because they are not training and developing people?

Why? Let’s look at the management – what is happening there, that training and development aren’t happening for them as well? As they move up the ranks without sufficient training, they haven’t developed the skills for the next level – managing people is different from selling the product.

They were a brilliant employee, but now in management – they don’t know how to part with that information/knowledge.

And then what happens this spiral of churn of staff, and only promoting the top 1% out of that churn, continuing the loop of the same type of manager.

And you know what, that works for some companies – but if companies want the best, there is only so far they will get with that methodology – and when the candidate market becomes challenging – that’s when the struggle for people.

And the Infinite Recruitment loop continues.

Let’s Break this cycle.

To break this cycle and to really work out who is going to be the future of your business as a manager, you have 2 choices –

  • Training course for new managers/future management investment course. Find a great management course for managers and open it up to everyone. Not just top performers. People who average, people who work well with others, people who listen, people who show and tell. You know the people in your office, you can see them, “If only Joe Bloggs was top sales person he’d make a brilliant manager” – your gut is telling you something there. But remember that investment now, creates better managers tomorrow.

A great example of brilliant managers can be found in football. Average players that become managers, win trophies all the time. Great players becoming managers – something not right? right? they seem to not be better managers.

The second choice may cost more and may ruffle feathers in a team. But ultimately – could bring a lot of new thoughts, ideas and skills to the mix. Which is…

  • Hiring the right manager from the external market. I can list a lot of advantages and disadvantages to this. But what this does is break the cycle of Peter principle in a business. And stops the promotion of performers, that are not competent as managers that are hiring the wrong people.

I am not saying this is something that happens everywhere, but it could. I am saying if you as a business owner, employee, or a bad manager that are self-reflecting today, and notice they are the issue – there is a nice way out.

And all you need is time, training, coaching, and development to be a better manager today.

Either way, a lot of problems in the future will be solved if addressed now.

You have my thoughts on this subject. I am linking these blogs together, as almost one big route guide to finding the problems in the business and how it could, or is, causing the business issues when attracting the right people.

Thanks for reading!

I am Mark Hopkins, the owner, and recruiter at Thomas Lee Recruitment, which specialises in the Engineering/Manufacturing sector in the UK. I’ve been in this game for 18 years, seen the good and bad of this industry, and helped 100s of companies find the right staff for their business. I have also helped consulting companies develop their internal strategies to retain and develop their staff by better identifying the right staff for their business, to change/grow and get to that next level.

Come with me on an in-depth thought process covering the areas of recruitment that businesses are struggling, with and casting the light on it from an in-depth thought process.

You can check out my business here – Thomas Lee Recruitment | Engineering & Technical Sales or reach out on here!


Who are we? 

Thomas Lee Recruitment specialised in the recruitment of Engineers & Technical Sales in Manufacturing across the UK, Europe and some parts of the world. Ran by me, Mark Hopkins, with 19 years in the recruitment sector, and prior to that worked in the Engineering world in the Aircraft engineering sector. 

If you want to find out more about what I can do for you, then please reach out – mark.hopkins@thomasleerecruitment.co.uk call me – 0121 661 6578

Originally posted 2024-01-14 13:10:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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